Meet CERIC’s Board and Committee Members for 2023/2024

CERIC is delighted to welcome the members of its Board of Directors and Advisory Committees for the upcoming year. The volunteer Board guides CERIC in its mission as a national charitable organization to advance career development in Canada. Award-winning career development leader Candy Ho, returns for her second year as Chair of the Board. 

Reflecting a broad cross-section of leaders, the complete list of Board members for 2023/2024 includes: 

  • Candy Ho, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, BC (Chair)  
  • Meghan Lavallee, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Winnipeg, MB (Vice-chair)  
  • André Raymond, Laval University, Quebec City, QC (Past Chair)  
  • Sue Watts, Employment + Education Centre (EEC), Brockville, ON (Secretary/Treasurer)  
  • Tony Botelho, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC  
  • Keka DasGupta, Precision Marketing Group Inc, Toronto, ON  
  • Dinuka Gunaratne, Northeastern University, Vancouver, BC 
  • Darlene Hnatchuk, McGill University, Montreal, QC  
  • Valérie Roy, AXTRA, l’Alliance des centres-conseils en emploi, Montreal, QC
  • Rob Shea, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL  
  • Lisa Taylor, Challenge Factory, Toronto, ON  
  • Donald G. Lawson, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, Toronto, ON (Honorary Director – Ex-officio)  
  • Riz Ibrahim, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, Toronto, ON (Executive Officer – Ex-officio)  

Members of CERIC’s three Advisory Committees – Practical & Academic Research; Content & Learning; and Advocacy & Community Engagement – have been appointed by the Board for the next year. Members of these committees play an important role in implementing CERIC’s two strategic mandates: promoting career development as a priority for the public good, and building career development knowledge, mindsets and competencies. 

The focus of CERIC’s work is education and research in career counselling and career development that increases the economic and social well-being of people in Canada. This includes funding projects that produce innovative career development resources. CERIC also annually hosts Cannexus, Canada’s largest bilingual career development conference, publishes the country’s only peer-reviewed journal, Canadian Journal of Career Development, and runs the CareerWise / OrientAction content hubs.  


Four incredible keynotes to headline Cannexus conference

A bestselling futurist, a Paralympic champion, a renowned career theorist and an award-winning Indigenous researcher will deliver keynotes at the hybrid Cannexus24 conference. Cannexus, Canada’s Career Development Conference, will take place Jan. 29-31, 2024, both online and in Ottawa. The largest bilingual conference in the country focused on innovative approaches in career and workforce development, the conference draws more than 2,000 attendees. 

Attendees at Cannexus24 will hear empowering talks from these four outstanding keynotes: 

Hamza Khan
Future of Work and People-first Leadership Expert | Bestselling Author
Brave New Work: The Change-Friendly Playbook for Navigating Non-Stop Transformation  

Khan is on a mission to help organizations achieve inclusive and sustainable growth by rehumanizing the workplace. He will help attendees navigate a fast-approaching future of work, an always-on “new abnormal” characterized by hybrid work, persistent technological disruption, and constantly shifting behaviours and expectations.  

Chantal Petitclerc
Paralympic Champion | World Record Holder
Sharing My Story 

The epitome of determination, perseverance and discipline, Petticlerc is the most successful wheelchair racer of all time, boasting multiple medals from all three of the world’s top athletic competitions. She uses her own story to illustrate the importance of perseverance, ambitious goals, vision and, especially, dreams.   

Dr. Nancy Arthur
Professor and Dean Research for UniSA Business, University of South Australia and Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary

Business as (Un)usual: Staying on Course During Turbulence and Trends 

Dr. Arthur’s teaching and research has focused on culture-infused career counselling, social justice advocacy, and career development for international students and workers. She will discuss the need for career development services to be proactive in shaping policies and practices in ways that support people to navigate new ways of working.  

Dr. Sean Lessard
Award-winning Professor, Writer and Researcher in Indigenous Youth
Bubbling Up: Empowering Indigenous Youth Through “Radical Advocacy” 

Dr. Lessard is Woodland Cree and is from Montreal Lake Cree Nation in Northern Saskatchewan Treaty 6 territory. In this keynote, he will reflect on his work alongside Indigenous youth both in and outside of schools. He is especially known for his design of graduation coach models, transition/career planning and “school at any place and at any time” approaches.  

Super Saver rates for the virtual conference start at $210 with special $50 rates for students. The in-person rates start at $390. Members of more than 30 supporting organizations receive 25% off of their registration. The 25% discount is also available for groups of 5 or more.  All delegates get access to the virtual recordings after the conference for three months. The Super Saver deadline is Sept. 8. 

Cannexus is presented by CERIC and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada and a broad network of partners. For more information on the conference and to register, visit  cannexus.ceric.ca.  


Announcing Fall Webinars: Indigenous career development, unconscious bias, refugee integration and much more

CERIC, along with its partner associations, will be offering a variety of webinar series in the next few months to support the career development community on a range of timely topics. Take a look at our comprehensive list – and take advantage of the Zoom AI-generated live captions available in multiple languages, including English and French for each webinar series.

Indigenous peoples represent about 5% of the world’s population but make up 15% of the world’s poor. Indigenous peoples are also more likely to face obstacles to workforce entry due to racism, unconscious bias and discrimination. This leaves well-meaning career practitioners at a loss for how to best support their clients.

This free webinar series will provide an opportunity to learn from inspiring Indigenous career professionals from New Zealand and Canada, who will share their journey in the career development field and their perspectives on cultural approaches to Indigenous career development.

As career practitioners, whether in individual or group sessions, we interact with various clients, including those with multiple barriers or diverse needs. These clients or students may require additional strategies and techniques for empowering them and helping them succeed in their careers and educational paths. The Change It Up (CiU) approach, based on decades of research, incorporates the Fab 5 principles: hands-on, learner-centred, holistic, strength-based and trauma-aware.

This free webinar will introduce you to the CiU approach to counselling and teaching and will offer you the opportunity to explore the “how” of working in the field of career counselling.

Career development entrepreneurship, often approached as a solopreneur, can be seen as a seemingly impossible dream. How does one go about launching a private practice? What types of options are available to advisors? What challenges do people face? What are the essential tools and resources for preserving mental health? How do you combine your role as a practitioner with that of an entrepreneur?

The four sessions in this series will serve as a guide to private practice, covering key elements such as the myths and realities of self-employment, effective client recruitment, ethics and obligations, marketing and communications strategies, and essential work tools. This French webinar series aims to prepare and raise awareness among career development professionals who dream of entering private practice.

Despite the growing number of diversity hiring plans across various sectors, jobseekers still have concerns about hiring bias. Moreover, hiring bias has proven to have a negative impact on the well-being and mental health of workers. This creates greater roadblocks to career success, especially for underrepresented groups.

This new webinar series will explore the profound impacts that implicit bias has on job search and worker well-being. It will also provide career development practitioners with the tools and knowledge to strengthen their multicultural competency. Participants will leave the series equipped to effectively advocate for their clients and provide better support throughout their career journeys.

Many individuals who seek career counselling services experience psychological distress, particularly in relation to decision-making difficulties. Their fears, doubts, stress and sometimes anxiety tend to block their ability to mobilize and make choices. Faced with this, the professionals whose role it is to help them may themselves feel powerless, lacking concrete, effective tools to mobilize and support their clients.

The Acceptance and Commitment Approach (ACT) is a scientifically rigorous, evidence-based approach with proven effectiveness. This approach offers concrete interventions that career counsellors can apply both to their clients – to guide and support them in achieving their life and career goals – and to themselves, to take care of their role as counsellors and overcome the challenges specific to our practice, particularly with difficult clients.

Note that OCCOQ recognizes the full series for 3 hours of credits.

The number of refugees admitted in Canada (and specifically Quebec) is set to increase over the next few years. To effectively support their social and professional integration, it’s crucial for career practitioners to grasp the actual circumstances of these individuals. Unfortunately, counsellors often encounter challenges, as prevailing research in this domain primarily focuses on skilled immigrants, leaving a gap in understanding for other groups.

In response, this free French webinar aims to equip career professionals to work with refugees, offering practical tools and an intervention guide for individual and group counselling.

CERIC’s webinars are now hosted via the Zoom events platform to provide more interactive learning and networking opportunities. Participants will have access to a lobby where they can interact with other participants before, between and after the sessions, as well as many interaction options during the live webinars. An FAQ answers any technical questions. Paid webinars will be recorded and individual certificates of attendance will be provided to all registered participants who attend the webinars live.

CERIC partners with associations and organizations across Canada and beyond to present webinars that offer affordable professional development. Previously, CERIC has also worked with the Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training BC, BC Career Development AssociationCanadian Association of Career Educators and Employers, Canadian Association for Supported Employment, Career Development Association of Alberta, Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, Career Professionals of Canada, Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning CanadaExperiential and Work-Integrated Learning OntarioFirst WorkLabour Market Information CouncilNew Brunswick Career Development AssociationNova Scotia Career Development AssociationOntario Association of Career Management, Ontario School Counsellors’ Association, Vocational Rehabilitation Association (Canada), and the US-based National Career Development Association.




CERIC re-opens its innovative graduate program to foster career development excellence

CERIC has recently re-opened the applications for its highly anticipated Graduate Student Engagement Program (GSEP) to equip members with advanced knowledge and skills in career development practices. The GSEP is designed to empower participants with the expertise required to excel in their graduate studies and careers while positively impacting the field.

Through a dynamic and comprehensive package of opportunities, participants can engage in interactive learning experiences, gain insights from industry experts, and build a strong network of like-minded professionals.

Open to full-time graduate students enrolled in a Canadian university seeking to advance their careers in the field of career development, the GSEP creates unique opportunities:

Enrollment for the Graduate Student Engagement Program is now open. Secure your spot and embark on a transformative journey in career development excellence before October 19, 2023. Visit the GSEP page for more information and application details.


Registration now open for Cannexus24, Canada’s Career Development Conference

Cannexus24, Canada’s largest bilingual career development conference, is now open for registration with Super Saver rates available until Sept. 8. The Cannexus24 conference will take place from January 29-31, 2024, both virtually and in Ottawa, Canada. Whatever the format, Cannexus24 will leave you feeling empowered to enact change and to build our future together through career development. More than 2,000 professionals combined attended the last hybrid Cannexus.  

As a delegate, you can choose to Experience Cannexus Your Way.” The virtual and in-person portions have largely separate programs but shared keynotes and main stage sessions for all delegates to interact. In both experiences, you can expect an impactful gathering where you will explore innovative approaches in career and workforce development, and connect with peers from across Canada and around the world. 

Super Saver rates for the virtual conference start at $210 with special $50 rates for students. The in-person rates start at $390. Members of more than 30 supporting organizations receive 25% off either virtual or in-person registration. The 25% discount is also available for groups of 5 or more.  All delegates get access to the virtual recordings after the conference for three months. 

This year two pre-conference workshops will be offered in Ottawa to enrich the conference experience. Strengthening Practice Through Career Theories and Models: New & Creative Approaches is based on the forthcoming sequel to the popular Career Theories and Models at Work book and will be delivered by co-authors Dr. Nancy Arthur, Dr. Roberta Borgen (Neault) and Dr. Mary McMahon. Cannexus will also present the powerful Indigenous Blanket Exercise, which explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. 

Bursaries are available to support career development professionals in attending the virtual portion of Cannexus. The Marilyn Van Norman Bursary will be awarded to 13 community-based career development or employment practitioners, one from each province and territory. The Young Professionals Bursary will go to 12 individuals aged 30 or younger and engaged with career development or employment work. Preference goes to individuals from equity-deserving groups. The application deadline for bursaries is September 29, 2023 

Additional information is available on: 

  • Discounted hotels near the Shaw Centre where Cannexus is hosted 
  • Reduced fares to travel to Ottawa by plane or train 
  • The conference schedule (full program to be posted by October 4) 
  • Opportunities to become a Cannexus partner or exhibitor (note last year’s in-person Exhibitor Showcase sold out) 
  • Testimonials from past attendees about the conference 

Cannexus is presented by CERIC and supported by The Counselling Foundation of Canada and a broad network of partners. For more information on the conference and to register, visit  cannexus.ceric.ca. 


Deadline extended: Wileman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Career Development

The deadline to nominate a trailblazer for the Etta St. John Wileman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Career Development has now been extended to Sept. 15, 2023. Building on its proud history, it was announced earlier this year that CERIC’s flagship award is evolving to become more inclusive and accessible. The changes seek to ensure the award honours those who are making a significant impact within the wide-ranging field of career development, regardless of role or position within an organization.

You are encouraged to consider making a nomination:

  • Is there someone who has influenced you? Made the work of you and your colleagues better? Had a significant impact on clients and their community? 
  • Who do you know that has mentored, educated, advised, advocated for and been a role model to staff or students? 
  • Whose outstanding achievements have included seeking to have a more equitable impact with their work, such as challenging oppressive structures? 

For more than past two years, CERIC’s Wileman Award Selection Committee has been working to adapt the award. This started with expanding committee membership to include more diverse voices and better reflect all career development professionals as well as the people across Canada who they support. As part of these changes, the award’s focus has shifted from “lifetime achievement” to “outstanding achievement”, the definition of “leadership” has expanded, and new criteria related to justice, equity, diversity & inclusion have been added.  

Learn more about the award and why you should consider making a nomination: 

This is your chance to honour those blazing trails within career development through outstanding service, community engagement or other forms of impact and leadership. In such a multi-faceted field as career development, the intent is to reach out broadly to identify all those who should be celebrated. Nominate someone from your organization or network and ensure we are able to recognize the full spectrum of professionals making a meaningful difference in career development in Canada. 

Screenshot of the CERIC 2022 Annual Report webpage. There is a concept image of an individual walking from a dark room shaded by 2 large walls, towards a bright outdoor landscape.2023

CERIC 2022 Annual Report documents transition for organization, sector in catalyzing change

The latest CERIC Annual Report describes 2022 as a year that was unlike anything that preceded it or that we may see again in the future. With a theme of “Embracing Transition, Catalyzing Change,” this Annual Report chronicles a series of transitions for CERIC as an organization as well as for the broader career development communities we serve. It highlights CERIC’s activities, impacts and reflections as we worked to promote career development for public good and to build career development knowledge and mindsets. 

In their Leadership Message, Board Chair Dr. Candy Ho and outgoing Executive Director Riz Ibrahim discuss the experience of needing to pivot in the face of ongoing challenges with COVID to offer our flagship Cannexus conference as an all-virtual gathering for the second time. But with more than 1,700 delegates in attendance, it was evident that the learning at Cannexus and broader access of a virtual event held strong appeal. These were notable factors as we worked to plan the first hybrid Cannexus for 2023.  

The year was a busy one, filled with new and continuing research and learning projects: 

This past year was also one to build on existing partnerships and forge new relationships: 

Meanwhile, during 2022, CERIC continued to invest in its core programming. The Canadian Journal of Career Development celebrated 20 years of publishing as the country’s only peer-reviewed academic journal in the field. Our CareerWise and OrientAction sites continued to empower career practitioners with insights and resources. CERIC’s Graduate Student Engagement Program was paused for relaunch in 2023 and is being retooled to best support the next generation of career development researchers in Canada. 

In early 2022, CERIC started to engage in organizational work around equity-centred leadership. This work would immediately start to redefine our Board and Committee composition, increase the focus on equity and access to our learning offerings, and give us an opportunity to explore how the Etta St. John Wileman Award could become a more inclusive, accessible recognition of outstanding achievement in career development in Canada. This was envisioned as just the start of many changes to come in the years ahead. 

A major transition for CERIC saw Executive Director Riz Ibrahim announcing that he would be moving on to the role of President and CEO of CERIC’s funder, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, in spring 2023. After a national search, we ended the year with a new incoming Executive Director, Kay Castelle. Castelle would join CERIC at the end of February 2023, ushering in a new era for the organization. 

In addition to these highlights of transition and change, the CERIC 2022 Annual Report includes the organization’s financial statements and an acknowledgement all those who have contributed to the promise of even deeper impacts in the years ahead. A special thanks went to CERIC staff for their resilience, to Board and Advisory Committee volunteers for their guidance and to The Counselling Foundation of Canada for its ongoing commitment to the work of CERIC.   


CERIC awards Career Development 2040 project to Creative Futures

Toronto-based consultancy Creative Futures Studio will lead a new research project for CERIC that examines how the changing nature of work will impact the concept of careers and the role and identity of career developers. Their unique approach will focus on applying strategic foresight and participatory research to identify future-focused recommendations for the career development ecosystem in Canada. The research will look forward to 2040 to anticipate: What might be the role of career developers? Will “careers” as they are currently conceptualized exist or how might they evolve given current macro-level changes impacting jobs and the way we work?  

Canada has a rich ecosystem of career development professionals helping people to understand their career options, get the right skills and training, find work and grow in their roles. Many also help people address life issues that prevent them from reaching their career goals. A deep analysis into the broader shifts related to the future of work will help diverse career developers as well as policymakers to be prepared for the future. Prior to COVID-19, a host of broad social, technological, economic, environmental, political and values-based changes were disrupting Canada’s labour market. The pandemic accelerated many of these changes, while introducing new disruptions further complicating the landscape for career development.  

With that backdrop, CERIC’s aim is for this future-focused research to examine: 

  1. What are the macro factors redefining the changing workplace and career paths? 
  2. What is the future role and identity of career developers? 
  3. What career-oriented services and supports will people need in the future, and how will current services need to adapt to meet these needs? 

For Phase 1 of the project, Creative Futures will use a strategic foresight method called horizon scanning to identify a range of changes impacting the future of career development. The research will also involve interviews with career developers across Canada as well as with users of career services. This resulting trends analysis will be used in Phase 2 to develop four possible future scenarios that explore different versions of work in 2040. These scenarios will form the basis of a participatory workshop with career developers to explore how their profession might evolve and how current services must change to support their clients’ future needs. Phase 3 will see the release of these research findings by April 2024. 

Creative Futures helps public, non-profit and socially minded leaders plan and prepare for their future. Using applied futures research, they work with organizations to navigate complexity and embrace uncertainty, arming them with the tools to think beyond present-day issues and imagine, prepare for, and navigate multiple potential futures. Creative Futures brings extensive experience researching the future of work, including have led the Brookfield Institute’s multi-year Employment in 2030 initiatives 

The awarding of the project comes in response to a Request for Proposals that CERIC issued last fall.  The purpose is to identify factors that define and conversely limit identity making of career developers, as well as the roles they see themselves playing through this identity and through the interplay of macro socio-economic external factors. CERIC is interested in understanding how these factors are going to drive the evolution of role and identity within the career development field, in addition to the skillsets and competencies that will be needed to navigate these changes.

Graphic for the Free information Session for the Etta St. John WIleman Award2023

Free info session on Apr. 24 to outline changes to Wileman Award 

As CERIC announced earlier this year, the career development community’s flagship award is evolving to become more inclusive and accessible. A free information session on Monday, April 24 will discuss changes to the Etta St John Wileman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Career Development, how to nominate a colleague and provide time to answer any questions.

Join two members of the Wileman Award Selection Committee to find out everything you need to know to nominate a deserving candidate by the June 30 deadline. Cathy Keates (Queen’s University) and Yvonne Rodney (Inner Change Consulting/JVS Toronto) will share:

  • Why the Wileman award is transforming to ensure we are recognizing the full spectrum of professionals making a meaningful difference in career development in Canada AND the committee consultation that led to the changes
  • How the award’s focus has shifted from “lifetime” to “outstanding achievement”; how the definition of leadership has expanded; and how new criteria related to justice, equity, diversity & inclusion have been added
  • What you and your organization can do to nominate an individual among your colleagues and networks who has made a significant impact to enhancing the field of career development, regardless of role or position

Plus, there will be ample time for questions to ask anything you’d like to know about the changes to the award or about the nomination process.

This is your chance to learn how you can honour those blazing trails within career development through outstanding service, community engagement or other forms of impact and leadership.

Register now for the info session. Be sure to sign up even if you can’t attend live and you’ll receive a copy of the recording.

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